Monday, August 25, 2008

quilting?


From the looks of this blog, you would think that I wasn't getting much sewing accomplished. You would probably be right. I completed this project for Timeless and am shipping it off to be photographed today. I still have to make a larger version of the same pattern with borders. I’m thinking of scrambling the colors in the larger piece and having it shade from dark on the bottom to light on the top, but that is going to take some thought and I just can’t concentrate on anything that creative right now.

My oldest daughter is getting married September 5th in Cincinnati. Many of the last minute details are falling to me, like the wedding cake, decorations for the reception, helping with the food for the open house they are hosting. Don’t get me wrong, I volunteered for these details, it is just that they are all things that need to be done at the last minute and that “minute” is looming ever closer, but not quite close enough to get started.

For those of you that are wondering, no, I didn’t make them a wedding quilt. I considered it, but they are still in the “deciding” stage of combining their taste and figuring out what they want to live with. Their bedroom was going to be dark red, then green, now it is blue. Both of them favor contemporary, but not in an Amy Butler style, they prefer more of a minimalist look. Jon loves black and white photography, clean lines and has a very artistic eye. Lauren loves a classic uncluttered look (both of my girls wanted to grow up to be Audrey Hepburn). Jon may have been a bit concerned that his new mother-in-law might force a “granny quilt” of calico squares and triangles on him. I think he has gotten over that fear, but we are going to take this relationship one step at a time. I’m not planning to be a meddling mother in law – at least until the grandchildren arrive!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Back To Work

Wow! That re-entry after vacation is pretty bumpy! I wake up each morning and before I open my eyes I cross my fingers and hope and pray that what I see will be aquamarine blue water, a sandy beach and a few palm trees sprinkled here and there. Moments later I am staring out at a mostly brown crunchy lawn, a garden full of weeds and I have to make my own coffee.

Oh well.

Getting back to work was hard enough, but I've been playing the Karen version of "Nothing in Life is Easy" all week. Because I had 10 wonderful days of vacation, I dropped my sewing machine and my laptop computer off to be serviced while I was gone. I have to say that my machine obviously enjoyed it's time at the Amy Baughman Sewing Center and Machine Spa because it is purring so quietly and clipping threads, winding bobbins like it was brand new out of the box. Ahhhh.

The laptop was entrusted to the Geeks at Best Buy. I love those geeks. They told me that it would have to be sent out to be cleaned and it would most likely be 2-3 weeks. (They have to send it out to get ALL the lint out. I doesn't have as much fuzz in it as my sewing machine - but it is close!) I could live without it for awhile. All I needed to do was transfer some info to the new shop machine and save all of the "important" stuff to a disk. Done. I’m cool.

Ha Ha Ha.

What I didn't realize is that the shop machine doesn’t have all of the fonts that I use. The first time I went to print out a pattern (so incredibly proud of myself for actually saving, finding and being able to print it from a different machine) I realized that not only were the fonts missing, but all of the UPC codes were being converted from their little black lines to a row of numbers. I had to find, download and install that info.

Hours later, when the software was accomplished and I pressed "print", the wonderful Xerox color printer offered me two options, black and white or “Enhanced”, the color option that should be called "Sucks up ink like a sponge". I very na├»vely called the Xerox help line. Ill spare you the details, but it took 24 hours, 3 phone calls, 4 emails and some stern words to Toby before I was able to print in “standard” format. I beg to differ with the words “award winning” when used in reference to their service.

Meanwhile, the machine was eating ink at an alarming rate. This fancy schmancy machine uses solid ink crayons that we order directly from Xerox. If the machine THINKS it is out of ink, it stops running. Three of the “crayons” I opened were cracked in half. That renders them unusable, unless you are willing to insert the “good” portion and then use a bent paper clip, T-pin and a chop stick to remove the unusable chunk when the machine stops. (If you work for Xerox service I have only heard that this is possible, I would NEVER stick a sharp object into my printer and void the warranty….) I HAD to print the items that we needed to ship orders. Quilters were waiting. Customer service was on the line. (Xerox doesn’t need to know about the paper towel crammed into the yellow ink slot to trick the machine into thinking that it had ink either.)

At the same time, the new laptop kept giving me this “warning” that the software was a “trial” version. Let me make this perfectly clear…… Bill Gates does NOT have a sense of humor when it comes to using his software. Once that man has decided your time is up – it’s over baby. I had to trash the trials, reinstall a very old version, update, update, visit the Geeks at Best Buy (whom I’m sure have great stories about the IDIOT that owns a quilt shop and doesn’t know squat about computers) I then keyed in yet another 25 digit product code which I calculated cost me about $6.76 per digit. There is nothing Visa cant fix.

But now we are back to normal. – whatever that is.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Vacation!

Ahhh. I'm on vacation. Just my husband and myself on an island for 10 whole days! We have very limited internet access, so dont expect to hear much from me until after the 19th. It's nothing but R&R from now until then.


The plan is to do ALMOST nothing. It is amazing what thoughts pop into your head when you are floating around totally relaxed, face down in the water (with a snorkle of course!) just watching the fish. I've managed to mentally design the free handout project for the Refresh line and have an awsome idea for the Counterpoint line. I also have several great ideas for new blender prints for a line I'm working on for spring of '09......


Pam W, who named the Counterpoint line is an unbelievably talented woman. It occoured to me that maybe Pam should design a pattern to go with that line too. Pam, if you're reading this - put your thinking cap on!


In the mean time, as they say, here is your moment of "zen" so that you can enjoy our vacation too!




















Karen